While you may think a rose, potato, and honey aren’t a likely trio, when combined, they actually make propagating rose cuttings a breeze!
With only three primary materials, a few tools, and a place to plant your finished propagated potato, you’ll have beautiful rose bushes before you know it.
Follow the 5 easy steps below to multiply your rose bushes and enjoy their blooms for seasons to come!
- Fresh rose cuttings
- Raw honey
- Fresh russet potatoes
- A knife or clippers to score the rose stem.
- A sturdy straw, screwdriver, or drill to create a hole in the potato.
- A pot and soil or a location in your garden to plant the newly propagated rose cuttings.
1. Begin By Gathering All of Your Supplies
Find a good place to work and begin to collect your supplies from the list above.
You will need a rose cutting approximately 10 inches in length, a little longer or shorter will do just fine as long as it is from healthy and mature woody growth.
Fresh potatoes work the best to minimize the chances of the potato rotting instead of nourishing the rose, and raw honey is ideal because of its unfiltered characteristics.
2. Remove the Lower Leaves From Rose Stem and Score It
The first step is to remove any leaves on the bottom ¼ of the cutting since this part of the stem will be buried. Then use a knife to cut the stem diagonally at its base and score the bottom inch of the rose stem.
Scoring the stem will help stimulate the cutting to produce roots from the open cuts.
3. Remove Any Eyes and Create a Hole in the Potato
Prepare the potato by removing any eyes it has to prevent it from growing a potato plant instead of breaking down and nourishing your rose.
Locate the center of the potato where you will make a hole to insert the rose stem. Then use a sturdy tube, screwdriver, or drill to create a hole about 1 inch deep into the potato.
4. Insert Your Rose Cutting Into the Potato
Now, dip the end of the rose cutting where you scored the stem into the raw honey. Make sure a decent amount of honey remains on the stem, but it isn’t necessary to heavily coat it.
Insert the stem into the potato while being as gentle as possible in order not to damage it. The stem should stand on its own once placed into the potato.
5. Plant the Propagated Rose Potato
After combining the potato and rose cutting, plant it in the ground or in a pot. Bury the potato about 3 to 4 inches deep, and water it enough to moisten the soil.
Be careful not to overwater the area since the potato can rot easily in very wet soil.
Does Honey Help Roses Grow?
Honey has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties that protect the vulnerable open-ended stem from becoming infected and dying.
Dipping the cutting in honey protects the stem long enough for it to heal and begin producing new roots from the rose’s naturally occurring rooting hormones.
How Do You Use Honey as a Rooting Hormone?
Honey doesn’t only work on rose stems; it can be used to help fight bacteria and fungus on any plant you are propagating!
Anytime you are propagating something, score the lower part of the stem and dip your cutting into honey before you plant it.
While specific rooting hormones are available, honey is an easily accessible natural alternative.
What Is the Best Natural Rooting Hormone?
While honey works as a great antibacterial and antifungal, willow extract (find it here at a great price) is the best natural rooting hormone. It is made from concentrated plant auxin hormones that are found in abundance in the tips of a willow tree’s new growth.
Both of the auxin hormones, salicylic acid, and indolebutyric acid, will help because of their natural growth-stimulating abilities.
How Long Does It Take a Rose To Root in a Potato?
While the climate, soil nutrients, moisture, and other growth factors may affect the timeline, it should begin rooting in 2 to 3 weeks.
Shortly after that, it will begin to show signs of new growth above ground in a little over a month’s time.
When To Transplant Roses Grown From Cuttings
Since plants grow the most in the spring and early summer, transplant your rose cuttings shortly after then so they have time to begin growing that same season.
It may be a sign you need to transplant your cuttings if you notice they are beginning to suffer in growth and overall appearance.
After you’ve propagated your rose cutting and planted it, it is essential to continue watering your plant regularly.
Be sure to fertilize it seasonally and care for it as you would any other rose bush. With some care, your newly propagated cutting will grow into a beautiful rose bush over the next few seasons!